A Co-Evolution Model for Dynamic Social Network and Behavior

DOI: 10.4236/ojs.2014.49072   PDF   HTML   XML   3,972 Downloads   4,519 Views   Citations


Individual behaviors, such as drinking, smoking, screen time, and physical activity, can be strongly influenced by the behavior of friends. At the same time, the choice of friends can be influenced by shared behavioral preferences. The actor-based stochastic models (ABSM) are developed to study the interdependence of social networks and behavior. These methods are efficient and useful for analysis of discrete behaviors, such as drinking and smoking; however, since the behavior evolution function is in an exponential format, the ABSM can generate inconsistent and unrealistic results when the behavior variable is continuous or has a large range, such as hours of television watched or body mass index. To more realistically model continuous behavior variables, we propose a co-evolution process based on a linear model which is consistent over time and has an intuitive interpretation. In the simulation study, we applied the expectation maximization (EM) and Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms to find the maximum likelihood estimate (MLE) of parameter values. Additionally, we show that our assumptions are reasonable using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health).

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Tong, L. , Shoham, D. and Cooper, R. (2014) A Co-Evolution Model for Dynamic Social Network and Behavior. Open Journal of Statistics, 4, 765-775. doi: 10.4236/ojs.2014.49072.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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